In 1 Kings, Chapter 8, King Solomon has gathered the elders of Israel and they’ve brought the ark of the covenant out of Zion to put it in its proper place – the inner sanctuary of the temple. The presence of the Lord so filled the place that the priests couldn’t even stand or minister.
Solomon stood to praise the Lord in front of everyone. What’s interesting is that not only did he praise and thank the Lord, he felt confident enough to ask a question: “Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” (1 Kings 8:27)
1000 years later, you find Jesus indeed walking on earth – ministering to people, healing people, teaching people. He brought a radical message of love, peace and transformation that enthralled some and enraged others. Even some of His disciples said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60) and stopped following Him.
In response, Jesus asks them a question. And this same question is asked of us today, more than 2000 years later: “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” (John 6:62)
This question was amazing and nearly unfathomable to the disciples – even to the disciples who stayed. Just as it was unfathomable to Solomon all those years before that the earth could actually contain the glory of the Lord and stay intact.
Not many chapters later, in John 14, you see Jesus teaching that He was going to go away but that He would leave the Holy Spirit with the disciples to continue to guide them and minister to them. And a disciple asked of Jesus: “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world? (John 14:22) and we learn that just as Jesus put love in action in teaching, healing and ministering to people without regard for the way society values people, so, too are we to do the same.
In fact, He says that if we love HIM, we will obey His teachings and this will cause us to be one with the Father. (John 14:23).
So what should do today? How is this relevant other than a nice story? Those words are not just dusty, archaic words. They are words for us today.
We each may be the only Bible anyone ever reads. We each may be the only encounter that someone has with the grace and love that comes from God. We don’t share this by providing long lists of what’s wrong with people we don’t even know and where they have fallen short. There’s no example in the Bible of Jesus approaching anyone that way.
“Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs” (Psalm 84:6a)
We each are called to find some way to make the desolate valleys of our neighbors and loved ones, a place of springs.
Who can you help today? For whom can you be God’s hands and feet on earth today? This doesn’t only apply to huge giant organizations that address world hunger and peace. This applies to us – what thought can you put to the nutritional content of the dinner you’re preparing tonight? Are there a few things you could do to make your home more peaceful? Whether its having less clutter or preparing your heart for less strife? Have you spoken to your neighbors recently?
There are so many things you can do? Share your ideas below! I’d love to hear from you as you create a place of springs!